For many people, when they hear "virtual reality" it conjures up thoughts of terrible movies like Johnny Mnemonic or The Lawnmower Man or Nintendo's short lived game console the Virtual Boy. Half-cocked ideas from the mid-nineties, a time when we just barely started rending 3d graphics on home computers, much less photorealistic, stereoscopic images. Without the graphics horsepower to drive these ideas, they never really got off the ground. But as Moore's Law brings us more powerful hardware in smaller and smaller packages it's opened up new possibilities.
So just like Keanu Reeves, we're on to bigger and better things. We're ready to trade in our B-movie Johnny Mnemonic for The Matrix and our Virtual Boy for the Oculus Rift. VR isn't just a gimmick anymore.